After spending the last two seasons being eyed by a number of top European clubs, including Benfica and Barcelona, Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has joined Premier League side Southampton in a £10million deal.
The England international is a big loss to the Parkhead outfit, having broken Scottish football’s record last season for the most consecutive minutes without conceding.
But £10m is a lot of money to spend on a viable replacement, and although the summer window is edging towards it’s conclusion there’s still plenty of time to find one.
So just in case the Scottish champions are short of a few ideas, we’ve listed FIVE talented goalies that could fill Forster’s void between the Parkhead posts.
One top-quality Fraser Forster replacement Celtic should be considering is former Bhoy David Marshall, who made 35 appearances for the Parkhead side before leaving for Norwich in 2007.
The Cardiff City No.1 made more saves than any Premier League goalie last season, as detailed below:
Had the Scotland international not enjoyed such a rich vein of form, the Bluebirds relegation campaign could have been a lot more embarrassing. Here he is putting in a Man of the Match display against Spurs:
The 29 year-old was believed to be a prime target for several Premier League clubs this summer following the Welsh outfit’s relegation, with Arsenal, Spurs and Southampton all linked.
But the aforementioned clubs have all sought alternatives, and Champions League football is undoubtedly a challenge that would excite Marshall.
Rumour has it however that Cardiff value their goalkeeper at a whopping £15million:
— Wales Online (@WalesOnline) June 1, 2014
European experience is a major advantage for any goalkeeping target, improving Celtic’s chances of continuing to defy the odds in the Champions League.
In that regard, Ronny Deila should be looking at Wigan Athletic’s Scott Carson. Not only has the 28 year-old represented England on four occasions but he’s also made ten appearances in Europe over the last three seasons, throughout spells with the Latics and former side Bursaspor.
Here’s a look at some of Carson’s best saves for the Turkish oufit:
The former Liverpool youngster currently dons the No.1 jersey for the Latics, but they already have a replacement in 21 year-old sensation Lee Nicholls, and thus could be convinced to sell for the right price.
Oh, and if you score against Carson, he’ll kick you really, really hard in the shin:
Chelsea currently boast the strongest goalkeeping department in the Premier League, with world-class duo Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech currently understudied by the ever-dependable Mark Schwarzer.
That does mean however that first team opportunities for highly-rated junior keeper Jamal Blackman will be exceptionally slim for the foreseeable future, and thus, he would likely be available to Celtic on a loan deal this summer.
The 20 year-old was a vital part of the Blues side that claimed the U21 Premier League title last season and has represented England at U16, U17 and U19 level. He also produced this sublime save against AS Roma in a pre-season friendly last summer:
Admittedly, with no league appearances to date Blackman still represents a significant risk from Celtic’s point of view. But he’s certainly gifted and could prove to be a major coup. Here’s a more in-depth look at the Chelsea youngster:
Another Premier League youngster in desperate need of some game-time is Manchester United’s Ben Amos.
Having amassed 17 caps for England across the junior levels, the 24 year-old comes highly rated. But he’s featured just once for the Red Devils so far in his career and made only 54 competitive appearances throughout loan spells with Oldham, Molde and Hull City.
Louis van Gaal doesn’t seem too fond of Amos either, after publicly blasting him for his role in Miralem Pjanic’s halfway-line lob during a pre-season friendly:
Thus, and after signing 17 year-old Vanja Milinkovic, it shouldn’t take much to convince the Old Trafford boss to sell.
Amos’ afternoon against Roma wasn’t all bad – he also produced this impressive stop:
Over the last few years, if there’s one goalkeeper whose shone in the Scottish top flight, with the exception of Fraser Forster, it’s undoubtedly former Motherwell star Darren Randolph.
In his last two SPL campaigns, before leaving The Steelmen for Birmingham City last summer, the 27 year-old claimed consecutive slots in the PFA Team of the Year and in January 2013 he had the best save percentage of any Scottish top flight ‘keeper, as detailed below:
This excellent display against Dundee was one of the highlights of Randolph’s Motherwell stay:
The Ireland international moved to the Championship last summer, since producing consistent form. This double-save against Bournemouth particularly stood out:
But the St. Andrew’s side are in a real mess financially, and after losing 2-0 to Middlesbrough at the weekend look set for another campaign of hardship. As many fans have pointed out, without Randolph, the Blues could have come away with a considerably worse result:
If not for Darren Randolph, Birmingham would have been beaten by 4/5. Long season ahead for them once again. No attacking prowess at all
— Joe Tindle (@Joe_Tindle) August 9, 2014
If I wasn’t for darren Randolph it could of been about 6-0..
— callum (@callumhbcfc) August 10, 2014
— Small Heath Alliance (@sha1875) August 11, 2014
With that in mind, joining the Scottish champions would be a perfect exit route for the former Charlton youngster.